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Goddard cleans up in district awards

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In a season with the Lady Rockets bouncing back from a bad season, they went from the hunter to the hunted. Come to think about it, coach Jamie Martinez is used to it with his soccer program. Outside of the 2017 season when Goddard went 4-14-2 and 1-4-1 in the district, Martinez and his Lady Rockets have been the class of 4A play.

This season was a lesson is adaptability — his team was never fully healthy even at the beginning of fall practice. All-State player Lexi Hoover was never healthy and missed time during the season. If she were healthy she would have been all-district as well and maybe player of the year.

“Hoover was first-team all-state last year,” Martinez said. “Hoover had injuries last season and she ended up being injured this season. She’s only a sophomore and she’ll be back.”

Goddard still cleaned up in district honors this year despite being a MASH unit. Goddard had to play players out of position and was so banged up this season they could not scrimmage during practice, and sometimes the players’ first time playing their new position would be during the game.

“I don’t think we played one game healthy the entire year,” Martinez said. “I didn’t have a fully healthy team. The good thing about the injuries is I had people step up. I had to move kids around. We just didn’t have that flow of dynamics on the whole season because of injuries.”

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No worries because Martinez used injuries to his advantage. Despite being banged up, the Lady Rockets managed to make a return to the playoffs for the second consecutive year. They placed five players on the first-place all-district team, and two on the second team.

“I think the heart of our team was our defense,” Martinez said. “We were young and they came through and stepped up. it was one of those seasons. Our girls played their hearts out for us. The good news is that we have 95% of our girls coming back. We have to get into the weight room.”

Martinez thinks that his team started to believe in themselves and that they could win and adjust to playing different positions. He wanted to stress that it is open competitions, that his team has to work to be competitive and that anything can happen.

Martinez feels like nothing bothers him after 31 years of coaching. His goal is to put his team in position to win and to be there in the end in tournament play. He tries to instill mental toughness in his team and that’s when things are tough. All they have is each other and they have to make a play for each other during money time.

“I told the girls,” Martinez said, “the season starts in nine months, but you have to figure out what you’re going to do to get prepared. Make sure you’re preparing for soccer season and that includes hitting the weights and being in shape.”

One of the biggest surprises is when Martinez moved Abbi Edwards from defender to midfielder to forward. That move saved Goddard’s season and provided much-needed offense and scoring. For that Edwards was the district’s goal scorer with 11 and voted District Player of the Year. Edwards had made honorable all-state on defense in 2018.

Coach Martinez will give his thoughts on each of his players making all-district and his thoughts for the future.

Sara Royo-Begeuria: “She saved us,” Martinez said. She’s a freshman and she did a great job for us. She really stepped up and learned. She listened and did a great job for us.”

Arianna Perez: “She did a great job,” Martinez said. “She was a workhorse, she doesn’t get a lot of credit for scoring, but man. She controls our offense a lot. Our offense sets up a lot in the middle, her in the middle pushing it out to the girls — she is a workhorse, I have to drag her off the field. I expect a big senior year for her.”

Sarah Mathison: “She did a great job,” Martinez said. “She finally stepped up. She’s a kid that understands the game and the flow of the game. She’s like Arianna and they have to work together a lot. She hardly ever came off that field.”

Emily Mathison: “What can I say,” Martinez said. “The best thing I can say is she was injury-free. Last year she had some concussions, and got kicked in the face and broke her cheekbone last year. Besides the cherries, she got sliding on the field. She did really well and stepped up and saved us a lot of goals. She did a tremendous job for us. I’m happy to get her back again. Emily will be one of the top goalies in the state.”

Mariah Macks: “She’s a workhorse,” Martinez said. “She started out three years ago as a forward, and then she moved to midfield and then to wing and then I pulled her into defense. Man, she is one of the fastest girls out there. She has good skills on how to defend.”

Ambrosia Teasyatwho: “After last year,” Martinez said, “everyone knew who she is. She got double covered and fouled at least six-seven times a game. She helps set up our offense and she gets after it. When we were kind of down on our offense, she did a very good job of getting after the ball.”

Abbi Edwards: “She stepped up,” Martinez said. “She was honorable mention all-state defense last year, and then she went from defense to offense. I saw that she could do it, and she said, ‘hey, I’ll do it’. She fit in and once district came around, I put her in against Socorro and she played a good game with two goals.”

Martinez states that he can’t wait to have our whole team healthy next year. High expectations are what he is used to. Martinez hopes to improve on their 9-9-2 mark.

 

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